Mahogany Mood

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Today, I feel like staying in bed and streaming one of my very favorite fashion forward foreign films… so that is just what I am going to do. For those who do not understand the greatness that is Ms. Diana Ross, simply watch this 1975 film starring herself and Mr. Billy Dee. It is inspirational, romantic, and fly as hell! Mahogany (Diana’s character) is a young poor woman struggling to become a fashion designer. She eventually finds fame and popularity that could ruin her. Along the way she wears and creates some amazing fashions. Visually, this movie is a blessing to all eyes.

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The best thing (to me) about the movie is that Diana designed all the costumes! The hair and makeup was done by Franco and Maria Teresa Corridoni. Although they’ve worked on many major films together, its unclear as to whether this foreign duo are relatives or spouses. Either way, their work has been featured in movies such as The Passion of the Christ, Seven Years in Tibet, and Jane Eyre.

If you’d like to stream Mahogany just CLICK HERE ! I hope you love it as much as I do ❤

 

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Wonderful World of Waxing

Every beauty routine performed should be with the intention of protecting/preserving the skin in the most effective way possible. Not only because it is the first thing people see when they look at us, but because it is the sponge by which our bodies interact with the world. Everything we put on it has an effect on our body’s inner workings.

Whenever asked the age old waxing vs. shaving question, I always say waxing. However, not all wax is created equal. Many contain alcohols and chemicals that can be detrimental to skin health and cause a more painful wax. I never recommend waxing yourself at home (because lots of people burn themselves and just dont know what the fuxk they’re doing) but if you absolutely must, here are some at home brands that I would recommend trying.

1.Shea Moisture Wax Honey Sugar – Yes! the same Shea Moisture that makes all the natural hair and skin care body products! 🙂

2.Moom Express Pre Wax Strips (for leg & body)

3.Parissa Hair Removal: Organic Cane Sugar

Here are tips to achieve your best at home wax:

  1. Make sure the skin is clean and dry. Any moisture, dirt, or makeup will get in the way of your wax!
  2. For a more even, smooth wax, exfoliate at least 24 hours before
  3. If you use a wax that needs to be heated, CHECK THE TEMPERATURE or your inner wrist before applying it anywhere on your body

 

 

P.S. If you shave, don’t.

Cover Girls & Beautiful Boys

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Recently, COVERGIRL, the international beauty brand has hired its very first male beauty ambassador, 17 year old James Charles. He is now in the ranks of celebrities such as Zendaya, Janelle Monae, and Katy Perry. Many people are rejoicing at the fact that the brand is embracing unconventional gender roles and striving towards inclusion for all. Some are outraged at the fact that they are encouraging young boys to wear makeup and prance around. I personally love prancing boys in makeup but that’s neither here nor there. I am not astounded by the fact that he is a male or wears makeup. I am, however, astounded by the fact that he has been doing makeup for only a year, quickly gained notoriety for his looks which range from space age to demure, and gained a job that most professional makeup artists would give their left arm for (or whichever arm they don’t use to apply makeup). With over 50,000 subscribers on his Youtube channel and over half a million followers on Instagram, he is taking the internet beauty world by storm. This is more than a janky lip gloss line (no shade). He is making moves. Whoever is on his team is doing great work!

I say this to say that everything is a resource! Every social media outlet and every interaction you make professionally (and sometimes personally) can be used to put yourself out there. Do not get me wrong… this is not a dreams can come true post. This is a work your ass off to perfect your craft and then go put that work out there post. Do not be remiss in your duty to harness your talents and share them. Surround yourself with people who support your goals and maybe even let you experiment on them. Focus on progress. Focus on a solid business plan to grow your brand because dreams without numbers to back them rarely ever come to fruition. Focus on being the best version of yourself you can be.

If you cannot find the resource, then create the resource.

 

Self Care & Activism

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Have you ever had one of those days where you’re feeling down in the dumps and  you go to the spa, nail salon, et cetera to pamper yourself a little? It is a well known fact that when you look better, you feel better. With your outer appearance and emotional self being so closely linked, why is it that most people (male and female) do not take the proper amount of time to regularly treat themselves? One of the first signs of diminished mental health is the neglect of one’s physical appearance.

I came across the above meme when I was in a period of mourning a woman that looked like me and talked like me and dreamed like me by the name of Sandra. For a week, I felt like I needed to do something, but I had no clue what. My mind was constantly racing. I was questioning my own value as a woman, as a brown person, and as a human being. I was looking for a way to remind myself that I was here… existing and living. This is the quote that inspired me to take myself, my spirituality, and my physical wellness more seriously…because in order to be an instrument for my people, I had to be a fully functioning, happy, and preserved woman.

A few months ago, I followed a trail of internet breadcrumbs and came across a website called Noire Care. It is basically a forum of self appreciation for women of color. Not only does it remind us that we are vessels that deserve to be tended to, but it serves as a resource to express fun, unique ways in which brown women do so. You can share your own methods of self preservation and connect with other women like yourself while doing it. Self preservation is not a luxury. It is mandatory. It is not your duty to prove to the world that you are worthy or beauty. It is your duty to live that truth within yourself.

Top 5 (Dead or Alive)

These are my Top 5 skin and body care brands in no particular order. They have helped me to both glow up and maintain said glow on multiple occasions! I pass on this knowledge to you. Consider it a gift from the skin goddesses ❤

  1. AVEDA : with consistency, Aveda products produce great results on my skin type (combination). My favorite product from them is the Intensive Hydrating Masque. For the best results with this product, keep it in the refrigerator and apply after you’ve properly exfoliated your face. Leave it on overnight to maximize results
  2. Origins : I have tried many products from this brand… and love them ALL! Since I cannot decide between the 2, I’ll share my 2 favorite products from them. The Checks and Balances cleanser and the Night-A-Mins moisturizer. The cleanser is beautiful in every way. But the moisturizer! Let me put it like this… if you are experiencing a breakout, slap it on before bed. When you wake up, it will be greatly diminished if not completely gone.
  3. Dermalogica : This whole brand is like the Regina George of brands. You want to call them a snobby hoe but at the end of the day, you cannot help but want to be down with them. They are pricey but worth every penny. The Special Cleansing Gel and Active Moist moisturizer have been my dynamic duo since the summer. I am loving the results thus far!
  4. GLAMGLOW : I wont even lie… I underestimated this line when I first tried it. I saw the packaging and ads and assumed it was just for play. I was seriously wrong! My favorite is the ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment. I sleep in it before all major life events. It continues to amaze me. And it smells sooooo good 🙂
  5. DERMAdoctor : This is mandatory. I struggle with dry skin in the winter and the KP Duty Dry Skin Duo has revived me more than once. I’m ordering a new one as I type! It is a mechanical and chemical body exfoliator along with a wonderfully balance AHA moisturizer. It works best after a fresh wax and a long, hot bath.

 

First Foundation

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This one is for all my minimum coverage girls out there. As a skin care professional, I love a finished look that allows people to still see my natural glow. Also, I have a few moles on my face that I hate to cover up. Anyway, I stumbled upon this little gem while out shopping with one of my beauty gurus, Andrea. I never owned my own foundation mainly because I found them all too heavy and unnecessary for my skin type. One of the fabulous makeup artist showed me how to use it in less than 5 minutes.  YAY for quick beauty routines!!! I had to purchase. It goes well with my moisturizers, lasts all day, and gives me a warmer look that I love!

Check it out here

 

 

Sparkle Spotlight

In 2012, the movie Sparkle was remade by a team of talented people both in front of and behind the camera. I can watch this film over and over (even on mute) just for the beautiful hair and makeup. They captured the time period perfectly and brought their own artistic touches to the looks. It gets me excited just talking about it!sparkle

The woman in charge of the makeup department, Marietta Carter-Narcisse, collaborated with a team of professionals to bring her ideas to life. They range from soft yet sultry to bold and geometric. She is responsible for making the late, great Whitney Houston look soft, glowing , and youthful which (I imagine) was a difficult job because… sparkle.jpg

Marietta Carter-Narcisse is known for her work in other films and TV shows like Eve’s Bayou,  Living Single, and Boyz in the Hood. She is also an educator! Her website features tips and tools for professionals (and aspiring professionals) on things like how to get into the industry, how to negotiate contracts, and more. Some of her free services include online monthly lectures on various topics. For any of you ladies looking to work in production makeup, I strongly recommend checking her out.

On that note, let me go watch Sparkle ! ❤